Canadian Diamonds Q&A: Bruno Sane, Rio Tinto

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On growing demand for Canadian stones and their USPs.

As part of Professional Jeweller’s in-depth look at the Canadian diamond market in the UK, we heard from Rio Tinto Diamonds general manager for marketing Bruno Sane. He shares his thoughts on the USPs of Canadian diamonds and why the stones have become an ethical choice.

Professional Jeweller: How do you believe the global Canadian diamond market has developed in the last two or three years?
Bruno Sane: The Canadian diamond market continues to be dominated by high-end gem quality diamonds, suitable for the bridal markets of the world and Rio Tinto’s Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada is a significant supplier in this regard. Canadian diamonds are in demand, both in established markets such as the US and Japan and the emerging markets of India and China.

PJ: What are the USPs of Canadian diamonds and how are you marketing the stones?
BS: Rio Tinto’s Canadian diamonds from Diavik are beautiful, clear white gemstones that mirror their spectacular origins deep in the permafrost of Canada’s northwest territories. This is an important selling point and part of our Mine of Origin programme. From mining to sales, Diavik’s production is kept separate to maintain its national identity of each mine. This allows us to specify the country and mine of origin when selling to our customers. Whilst Rio Tinto Diamonds does not operate at the retail level we do provide our customers of rough diamonds with downstream support. Our Diamonds with a Story platform has been very successful in adding meaning and significance to the end consumer’s purchase, providing a point of differentiation for our Canadian diamonds – it recognises the uniqueness of the Canadian diamonds and the human, geological and cultural stories that are intrinsic to them.

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PJ: Do you believe there is an ethical edge to Canadian-mined stones?
BS: At a global level we are using our Diamonds with a Story platform to build awareness of our Canadian diamonds. The ethical edge is increasingly important and Rio Tinto has been at the vanguard of sustainable business practices in the jewellery industry. Our market research has revealed just how important the issue of sustainability is, in the eyes of jewellery consumers. Today’s consumer is looking for assurance that the jewellery they buy has been produced to the highest ethical, social and environmental standards. We are also working with jewellery designers to build awareness for Canadian diamonds and indeed in our most recent global design competition there was a lot of excitement amongst designers for the beautiful aesthetic that our Canadian diamonds offer. For example the winner of the Canadian Master Craftsman category designed a canoe necklace, inspired by the image of a magical Canadian landscape- a canoe in an icy, crystalline frozen lake. The Canoe is known as a carrier of Canadian myths, a symbol that represents voyage, discovery, harmony with nature, and courage.

The above Q&A was part of our Canadian Diamonds feature, taken from the August issue of Professional Jeweller. To read the issue in full online, click here.
 

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